Bill to amend FCRA is an attempt by government to target critics: Oppn

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News: Foreign Contribution Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2020 was introduced in the Lok Sabha.

Facts:

  • The Bill amends the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.

Key provisions:

  • Include public servants in the prohibited category for accepting foreign contribution: FCRA 2010 prohibits certain persons to accept any foreign contribution.  These include: election candidates, editor or publisher of a newspaper, judges, government servants, members of any legislature, and political parties. The Bill adds public servants to this list.
  • Transfer of foreign contribution: Under the Act, foreign contribution cannot be transferred to any other person unless such person is also registered to accept foreign contribution. The Bill amends this to prohibit the transfer of foreign contribution to any other person. 
  • Aadhaar for registration: The Act states that a person may accept foreign contribution if they have obtained a certificate of registration from central government or obtained prior permission from the government to accept foreign contribution. The bill makes Aadhaar mandatory for registration.
  • Restriction in utilisation of foreign contribution: The Bill gives government powers to stop utilisation of foreign funds by an organisation through a “summary enquiry”.
  • Reduction in use of foreign contribution for administrative purposes: The bill decreases administrative expenses through foreign funds by an organisation to 20% from 50% earlier.

Additional Information:

Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010: It regulates the acceptance and utilisation of foreign contribution by individuals, associations and companies.